Hi everybody, I took my GMAT today and I thought I'd share my experience while I have my experience fresh in my memory. While I haven't used this forum very much for my preparation I especially enjoyed reading the GMAT experience posts. So here goes mine.
I actually bought all my GMAT books in 2007 but never got to scheduling an exam or preparing for the exam then. I bought the OG (11th edition) books and the MGMAT SC
book. I ended up using only the OG review book and the MGMAT SC
. I probably started preparing seriously only after booking the exam in early July this year.
I scored the following in diagnostic tests as part of my preparation:
8/8: MGMAT1: 660 (43,37),
9/10: GmatPrep1: 750 (50,41)
9/19: MGMAT2: 700 (48/37)
9/26: MGMAT3: 710 (48/39)
9/30: MGMAT4: 700 (48/37)
9/30: GmatPrep2: 700 (49/34)
10/1: GmatPrep1 (after reset): 760 (51?/??)
I generally didn't have a standard study schedule, though I spent more and more time on SC as the exam neared. I have an engineering background I generally do well in quant with little preparation. After spending some time, like many others in the forum, it became quite apparent that SC was my biggest challenge. Generally more than 80-90% of my wrong answers in the verbal section were SCs. Luckily for me, my fiancee is extremely accurate with SC and she really helped me understand many of the concepts when doing the practice questions.
My verbal score was about 37 throughout my preparation. I am sure I lucked out at least a little at the actual test. Having said that, I think SC becomes mainly a mind game after you've learn the rules on the MGMAT SC
book. For me having my fiancee explain the answers helped me feel confidant that I can do it well too. So I guess my recommendation for people who have difficulty with SC, especially if you don't have much time, is to get help from a friend, who does well in SC and work out a few problems with him/her. I am sure the forums play a similar role, but for me it helped to see the human side, where somebody takes the time to read a question, eliminates answers, makes mistakes, corrects the mistakes, arrives at an answer, has varying levels of confidence with the answer selected etc.
I scheduled the exam at 8am. (Options were for 8am and noon). I couldn't sleep well the previous night but on the positive side I was up early. I went to the exam center at 7:30am only to find a whole bunch of people at the Pearson center waiting to be seated. It took them about 30-45 minutes for me start the exam. While waiting for the exam we were asked to read the rules. I have to say that the security checks were a little crazy.
The first essay was simple enough but I ran out of time while while I was doing a final checkup of my essay. I hope it accepted the essay I had written so far without me clicking next. My second essay was a little harder. I am not sure how it went. I will update with my AWA score later. <Update: AWA 5.5 . I am surprised the official score came back in 5 days.>
After the second essay, I was given a 8 minute break. I walked out, drank some water and generally killed some time. When I walked back in and was seated, the exam told that I will loose about 30 seconds. The quant section was very similar to the GmatPrep practice exams. I was getting what appeared to be the higher difficulty questions and so I was happy. I did get caught up with one 'simplify an expression' question that I am pretty sure I skipped in the practice test and didn't review. I was annoyed with that and had to attempt the solution three time before figuring out how to solve it. In general, I didn't do a great job with time and had to guess my last question.
I had banana and drank some Gatorade during the next 8 minute break. This time I came back exactly with 0 seconds remaining. Time flies in the exam center. The verbal section started with a SC question, followed another SC question!! The worst case scenario. I panicked a little. But the RC and CR questions that followed seemed simple enough that I regained my confidence. There were a few SC questions for which I had to choose between two equally likely answers. But otherwise the questions didn't seem very complicated. Anyway I finished the verbal section with about 20 seconds to spare.
After finishing the test, I just clicked through the demographic info pages and was presented with my final scores - 760 (Q49, V44!)
. I was very pleased. Only after I saw the printed scores did I realize I had a higher percentile ranking in verbal than quant!